Interview: Noorulla MS
Head of Operations & Marketing South Asia at Sungrow
Skill development training centers are required to improve the skill level of the workforce
December 30, 2022. By Manu Tayal
Que: How did Sungrow overcome Covid lockdown for supply chain activities for production at the factory?
Ans: We as a global company have lots of supply chain activities involved in the production and we have also faced difficulties during the covid lockdown period like all others, but we take this lockdown period as a challenge and worked proactively with our Suppliers, Logistics partners, and internal cross-functional teams. We planned raw materials purchase both locally and imported during lockdown with the support of our suppliers and logistics partners. We followed government regulations strictly on social distancing.
Day to day we interact in meetings, understand situations outside, and take necessary steps to achieve our target to complete the production and dispatches on time without any delays.
Que: What kind of impact faced by Sungrow on BIS certification notification on raw materials/ finished goods at the time of customs clearance?
Ans: Sungrow India has not been much impacted due to BIS certification. The number of testing laboratories are not many in India for the variants or models that are offered by Sungrow, and it takes a lot of time for getting BIS certifications. However, we have faced little difficulties in terms of the customs clearance process. MNRE is very aware of the situation about testing laboratories in India and delays in getting certifications. So, given exemptions notification on a quarterly basis to customs which has supported us to customs clear our products using self-declarations.
Que: What was the impact on imported FG inverters because of the 20 per cent customs duty hike on BCD (from 10 per cent to 20 per cent)?
Ans: The BCD increase from 10 per cent to 20 per cent on inverters has impacted sales majorly for all the inverter suppliers. As we have seen, most of the customers are not ready to take the hit due to the extra cost of 10 per cent. Fortunately, Sungrow has strategically planned to the local manufacturing facility in India which overcomes this challenge easily and we are top in the competition where customers have shown interest in our Made in India inverter products. We are proud to say that we are contributing to the “Atmanirbhar Bharat mission” as part of our Prime Minister’s top priorities in the renewable energy industry and contributing towards improving the Indian economy and providing clean power for all.
Que: Is there any work pressure/load due to the ratio of dispatches increasing as production capacity increased from 3 GW to 10 GW?
Ans: Good question, in general Operations job is dynamic in nature but with planning and proactive communication the results can be achieved with a good level of efficiency. We took this as an opportunity to grow ourselves and work as a team to reach our company targets. As the business grows, we also faced a lot of challenges but we see it as an opportunity to learn new things and grow in the originations. We enjoy our working culture in Sungrow and the flexibility to reach management for the issues sorting, also supporting each other that has helped us not to feel work pressure or workload.
Que: What are the localization plans? Has Sungrow faced any challenges?
Ans: Sungrow in India started the localization process and some of the materials are qualified. Due to Covid19 travel restrictions, the qualification process is delayed where the physical availability of the raw materials is of utmost importance in the localization process and decision-making and cannot compromise on the quality of materials.
In the supply chain, the government should encourage small-scale industries to support big manufacturers by making supporting policies for small-scale industries, and the idea of such policies should attract manufacturers who produce the core raw materials like semiconductors, a special type of steel, copper so that the price and supply time can be improved and all the manufacturers can compete in the price-driven market.
Que: In 2018 Sungrow established its local manufacturing footprint in India. What are the challenges faced in the manufacturing journey of PV inverters?
Ans: As of now, the operations are smooth in terms of supply as per the demands both for local and exports in the USA.
The main challenges are infrastructure development, like for example road constructions that have an indirect impact on the process like frequent electric power failure, internet failure, truck movement, Stabilized electricity is required for a smooth testing of the heavy capacity of inverters, indirectly the land price also hold some impact for the expansion process.
Besides, skill development training centers are required to improve the skill level of the workforce in work before starting their carrier in the industries. They should be provided training either by the external training institute or by
the hiring industries.
Que: What are your views and plans about the new 10 GW factory utilization?
Ans: The new 10 GW per annum factory is a good idea to cater to the Indian market, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set a target of generating 50 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. So, Sungrow surely will contribute towards helping in achieving this target as our factory is big enough to meet the customer OTD with a good quality product.
The facility in terms of testing, production, and quality has been enhanced to meet the newly developed products. SMT line started to cater to local production to meet urgent requirements. The enhancement will be a continuous process.
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